So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 2 Corinthians 5:16
It's been a good many years since I've been in the Italian city of Venice.
On the other hand, last year I received e-mails from two friends who independently made the trip to that old and sinking city. Their correspondence is interesting.
One of the e-mails reads: "Venice is a dream. I wonder what makes it so mystical."
The other missive reads, "The smell of the canals is terrible and everything is damp. Thank heaven we don't have to spend more than two days here."
How's that for two different perspectives?
In truth, perspective means a lot and not just when it comes to old, Italian cities. If you want to see beauty, you will position yourself in such a way that you will find it. If you are looking for the negative, ugliness can be found everywhere.
Maybe that explains why for some parents their children are gifts from God and for others they are millstones that drag then down.
Let me ask, is your spouse, the person you once loved, growing in charm and joy. Or is that person a mean, cantankerous old pain?
I'll admit that not all of how you see things is perspective, but a large part is.
That's why I've tried to look at things from a positive point of view. It's not always easy. But when I remember that God -- because of Jesus' completed work of redemption -- looks at me from a positive perspective, I too can see things in a better, kinder way.
Maybe that perspective is worth a try in your life as well. Unless, of course, you happen to be one of those folks who loves the ugly.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us see our situations and each other through Your eyes. Grant us this gift so we may put things into the loving perspective that You have for us. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries